A vast parade ground crisscrossed by broad ceremonial boulevards, with the National Monument towering in its midst. Going north, the major artery is Jl. Gajah Mada / Jl. Hayam Wuruk, two one way roads with a canal separating them. This is the older, commercial area of town, horribly congested throught much of the day and practically deserted at night. At the north end of this artery lies the old colonial city and the old harbour, now both major tourist sights. To the east along the coast are Ancol, asprawling entertainment complex and Tanjung Priok, the port.
The “main street” of Jakarta is now Jl. Thamrin / Jl. Jend Sudirman, which connects Medan Merdeka (the central square) with Kebayoran Baru (the satelite suburb). Many international hotels, office buildings, theatres, restaurants and nightclubs are on this street. To the east of Jl. Thamrin lie the older colonial residential areas of Menteng, Cikini and Gondangdia, with their luxurious mansions and tidy, tree shaded streets, Jl. Imam Bonjol / Jl. Diponegoro is “ Embassy Row”, lined with many of the finest mansions in Jakarta and worth a quick drive or walk through. Many shops, boutiques and restaurants are in this area, as is TIM, the arts centre of Jakarta.
Jakarta has come a long way since the 1960s, when the only international class hotel in town was the Hotel Indonesia, built by the Javanese as a wae reparation. Of the older, pre war estanblishments, only the Transaera and the Royal remain, but neither is truly “colonial” in ambience.
Luxury Class (above US$100 per night)
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